I have got SO far behind with my blogging…. here’s some of the highlights which have kept me from my keyboard!
No sooner was I home than it was time for Neil and I to head up to Dubai to marshal at the first round of the 2014 Emirates Desert Championship on 3rd October. Our weekend in the sand was finished though – it was the Eid weekend so we ran a two-convoy drive between us on the Sunday.
I coughed my way through a bout of bronchitis mid-month but still managed a short trip out to the dunes to test out a few things – a sand anchor, Lionel’s new (very old) landrover as well as John R’s lift kit!
All through the summer I had been cooking up a 2-day offroad event for Oasis Offroad and in October I ran a trip to get some of our drivers used to driving longer distances; Century Saturday saw 3 groups tackle the dunes near Al Hayer on 17th October – not everyone managed 100kms but we all had a grand day out in some of the most beautiful dunes in the area.
The next weekend one of our friends from the UK arrived and as he had won the Two Little Ducks Challenge twice before I ran a third event so he could have another go. The Duckmeister (aka Mike) got down to the last two this time and everyone had a grand time – all the drivers were excellent this year and at one point I thought I would have to drive into the night to get them all “out”.
The last weekend saw “The Dark Skies Challenge” come to fruition. Months of planning, scouting, preparing tracks, forming teams, preparing tracks it was time to meet at Arada at very early on Friday 31st. Five teams of four headed north-westwards (almost impossible to get a straight line due to the lie of the dunes) to a point 108kms distant. Once there they had to dig up some “treasure” which the recce team had buried the week before. You can read the trip report here and our adventures also feature in the December Issue of OutdoorUAE magazine, who were kind enough to donate prizes to the winners of our photography competition. (BTW the photo was taken by Neil’s passenger Chris Lidster, not me).
So that was my busy October… do you think I got a rest in November?